taking a cue from my mother’s sense of heritage, we’ve decorated the house this year with swedish-inspired decorations. red, black, white, wood, and lots of candles. it’s not a definitive scandinavian decor, but it feels right: simple, and classic, and fun. festive and sacred. my father made the wood ornament tree for me, i’ve adopted my mother-in-laws tradition of advent activities, and my family -over the past couple of years- has bestowed on me some beautiful nativity scenes to call my own. so though this year the powerdrivers are sticking closer to home to intentionally focus on what christmas looks like for the three of us (and next year for the four of us!) we remain loyal to the traditions that made christmas a very special holy day for both jp and me when growing up.
what does your family do to make your home feel special for christmas?
this place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.
wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move against the earth and sky, the Beloved has bowed there,
the Beloved has bowed there knowing you were coming.
i don’t start decorating the house for christmas (except for hanging my mistletoe when it first arrives to me by post mail) until december 1. but i know there are many of you out there (including my hubby’s dear family) that kicks off christmas festivities the weekend after thanksgiving. 12/1 and the weekend after thanksgiving coincide this year so i had to get a jump on planning for our family advent activities. last year i posted the tutorial for our DIY advent calendar. using that same calendar, i’ve come up with some different activities, tweaked now that ramona is older and more enthusiastic about celebrating. here’s what we have planned for each night of advent.
- decorate the house for christmas. not too hard since our home is teeny.
- make paper snowflakes while watching it’s a wonderful life (don’t forget the popcorn!)
- make a list of christmas wishes, including non-tangible things.
- read about the birth of Christ.
- call pops (ramona’s grandpa) to wish him a happy birthday!
- find the treats that old st. nick left in our shoes.
- declutter for christmas — what can we donate, regift, toss, upcycle?
- pick out the perfect christmas candle. watch a christmas story.
- let’s do some sledding (after praying for snow first!)
- make a christmas wreath for the front door
- make gingerbread homes with her buddy max.
- make saffron buns
- have a candlelit dinner in honor of sta. lucia day
- make christmas cards for ramona to send out to friends and family.
- take a morning winter hike. watch the remake of miracle on 34th street (jp’s in it!)
- head out to see zoo lights or go on a family drive to see neighborhood lights.
- dance party to christmas albums.
- definitely splurge on a sweet treat for breakfast
- spend the evening drinking hot cocoa and reading our christmas and winter books.
- make pepperkakor cookies and enjoy them with eggnog.
- let’s walk downtown and put money in strangers’ meters!
- hot cocoa, popcorn, and another christmas movie. let’s do elf this time!
- establish thoughtful new years resolutions. follow up with home alone.
- swedish dinner w friends, grasshopper pie, leave cookies & milk out for santa, and open one small gift.
- merry christmas! stockings, story of christ, strata, and presents.
what do you and your family do to make the lead up to christmas morning special and significant?
that being said, i couldn’t help but hang up the real live mistletoe that arrived at my doorstep tout suite. i’ve made sure i catch jp under there at least a handful of times a day. smooch!
i’ve got lots extra! interested in some? i can send some to your doorstep for $5 (includes shipping!). just email me with your paypal email address and i’ll invoice you and, most likely, get it out that same day.
it’s that time, right before the holidays. the autumn has settled in and the winter is drawing near. plans for thanksgiving and christmas are starting to move around in my head but i’m not ready to give in to the hype just yet. ever? for now, i’m enjoying my quiet moments, my cozy home, my fall candle, my space free of decorations. before things get a little more hectic. i am reminding myself that things only need to be as complicated as i allow them. here’s to simplicity.
take a breath. take it in. enjoy and be thankful for what you have.